Ideamarked Jan2011: Astrology, Fiction, Photography, Music, Technology, Poetry, Social Rules & Life Lessons

The first month of 2011 has whooshed by slipperier than the icy roads we Mumbaikers nearly came to expect with a rare winter! I’ve been poking around into a lot of corners and old places, nostalgia washing over me with this old blog URL and template. After the daily post pressure of Reverb10 and a demanding December calender let up, January has been packed in a different way. I’ve been enjoying it and hope that it’s an indication of things to come in the rest of the year. Here’s a mixed bag of goodies to cheer you along at end of the first month:

  • Ugly Christmas sweaters by sun sign! (via Astrology.com)
  • Extra short stories for 2011 (via Sakshi)
  • A secret can be a burden. And someone who shares your burden has to be a real guardian angel. Like the one this postcard is about. (via PostSecret)
  • 1000 Life Lessons or How to stay alive forever (1000 secrets)
  • Doocing may loom high even on our sheltered desi selves as we all get connected. Here’s five ways to tread with caution on Twitter and Facebook (via EconomicTimes, tipped off by Gautam Ghosh, who is quoted in the story)
  • Mumbai through the eyes of my favorite Bangalore photo-blogger. No mains and crosses in Claustraphobicity, I’m afraid! (Mumbai Paused)
  • In marketers’ hell! Swoosh Eyebrows (via FoundShit)
  • An old favorite of mine and mamma to twin boys, this time she gets a sharp lesson in watching her words in front of the kids! (via Mamma of Twins)
  • A History of Nudism – short story at Daily Fiction‘s new blog.
  • So bad, it’s good. Move over French maid fantasy, Mmmbai is here! Aye Hiphopper by Ishq Bector (via Youtube)
  • Memorable moments and traditions from wedding ceremonies across countries, religions and social systems. (via Matador Network)
  • How technology/ mobile connectivity is helping Indian education (via EducationTimes, tipped off by Moksh Juneja, who is quoted in the story)
  • Social Rules To Not Making Empty Promises and To Mean What You Say – I can think of a helluva lot of people who need to know this and not one of them is shy! (link courtesy Arcopol Chaudhuri)
  • Echoes fade and memories die, Autumn frosts have slain July“….gives me goosebumps. (Lewis Carrol at OldPoetry)

Ideamarked! December 2010: Internet Delights, Online Wars, Schooltime Nostalgia, Curd Rice, Romance, Art & Writing

I’ve had a busy December, what with friends from out-of town, the big relationship questions, getting started on the Yahoo! Real Beauty arrangement and a month-long writing exercise (you’ll have to read further to know what!). But I still managed to keep an eye on things of mutual interest, dear reader. *Pause for applause* :-D I’m feeling upbeat and high-spirited this month. So be nice and leave a comment or two telling me what you think and what else you’d like to see.

  • This would have been par de course in an 80s Bollywood flick dhak-dhak style! (via AwkwardFamilyPhotos)
  • Getting ready for the Kala Ghoda Art Festival 2011.
  • This really appeals to the Ideartist in me! (via PS-IMadeThis)
  • A month-long writing exercise with a daily prompt (via Reverb10) Hat-tipped by Lakshmi Jagad. Also see my posts on this, here.
  • I first heard this song featured on the soundtrack of ’13 Going On 30′ and then fell in love with it. It was the theme song of my journey to the big Three-O and beyond. (Billy Joel’s Vienna Waits For You via YouTube)
  • Two drifters off to see the world, there’s so much of world to see. A classic. (Breakfast in Tiffany’s Moon River via YouTube)
  • Stoopid copywriters, funny fails! (via Failblog)
  • An interesting concept: Turning off your phone as a technological gesture of affection. (via Arzan Wadia)
  • Some of us miss the forest for the trees. And then there are those who remind us to stop and pick a fruit and savour it before burning the forest down. (Ashwini Mishra on the small things)
  • I came upon this blog from a reader response. It took me back to my early days of blogging when blogs were personal journals (not blossoming ebusiness ideas) and bloggers were ordinary human beings (not the next big Internet celebrity). I particularly liked the idea of this tag (yes, another throwback to those days of yore) and his answers. (via Yuva Anandan)
  • I ran into an online war with Bombay Elektrik Projekt after I tweeted that I was disappointed with their Monday Night Slam event. They slammed me on their Facebook page and on Twitter. An account of the event is here.
  • I didn’t send this one in but it instantly reminded me of my Best Friend. (via PostSecret)
  • An ode to that humble king of South Indian cuisine – thayir sadam (curd rice to you philistines). The article has liberal local references so you’re advised to carry a Tamil-English dictionary. But it is worth a read. Damn, my stomach’s growling. And this after having had a sumptous dinner of the aforementioned thayir sadam!! (via HawkEyeView)
  • Remember the teenage sleuthing trio of Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw and Bob Andrews? My early adolescence was checkered with the adventures of The Three Investigators. Here’s remembering.
  • Horsing around (via AwkwardSchoolPictures)
  • Things you would never know without the movies (via TheTopSpace)
  • “Not email but Facebook may launch its own country by Monday!” (via FakingNews).
  • Hardware meets software? The clash of the giants. A good read, even for the techno-greeks. “Apple versus Google” (via IntelligentLife)
  • From the idea-archives: My article on learning to cook from the internet, which featured in JetLite’s in-flight magazine in October 2010. Cooking wannabes and seasoned chefs, do take note! (on The Idea-smithy)

If you see yourself (or your site featured here, if you’d like to be or if you’re just intrigued by the Ideamarked posts, do drop into The Idea-smithy Facebook Page and tell me about it. I love company!

BlogAdda 2: Building Access – Feeds & Link Sharing

My second post is up at BlogAdda. After a basic checklist of blog essentials, I talk about the importance of making your content accessible and lay out some of the most basic (but crucial) ways to do so.

I just saw a tweet from someone asking if this wasn’t too 2005. My answer, is, yes, perhaps. On the other hand, a staggering number of bloggers don’t know how to promote their blogs, are unaware of what a feed is and are completely in the dark about the fact that they might be missing out on the readership they deserve, simply because they are not accessible. I know this because I’ve built my blogging activities, HTML piece by HTML piece. I made mistakes and I learnt. I still get a number of friends asking me about these so-called common knowledge questions which made me ask whether these things really were as common as people thought.

I think what a lot of technology-savvy people sometimes forget is that blogging is not a technological activity. It  is a social one like email, even a creative one like writing. Technology is the medium and not the focus of it. It draws people from different backgrounds and interests. There are as many kinds of bloggers as there are people. And the skills they require to establish their unique presence are all varied. Keeping up with internet trends is not on everyone’s list of priorities.

In my posts, I aim to touch on blogging aspects that are universal enough to be relevant to all kinds of bloggers – personal bloggers, food bloggers, photo-bloggers, professional bloggers and technology bloggers. But my approach is a layperson’s point of view, the one of someone who has never been (and still is not) passionate about technology but manages to keep up (just about) with what is immediately useful.

The BlogAdda team and I have a list of such topics in mind but if you have a suggestion, please do drop in a comment either here or at BlogAdda. I hope you enjoy the post!

Last week we looked at the basic features that a blog must have. Once the blog is up and running, the most important question is how to build readership. Grabbing interest is a tricky subject and one that nobody has a concrete answer to, since it all depends on the quality of your content. However, making that content accessible goes a long way in building your readership. Let’s examine some tools that can make your blog content more accessible.

(Click here to read the rest of the post)

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Quoted by Mid-Day: Wagging Tongues Is A Good Thing

Sowmya Rajaram ran a story in Mid-Day (dated 8 May 2010) on the phenomenon of Vogging or Voice Blogging, quoting Janaki Ghatpande and me.

I think it’s an interesting concept and not a surprising one. After text and pictures and video and in the age of micro-blogging, easy audio has to be the next step. I don’t think this is going to replace ‘traditional’ blogging just yet (and how old I feel calling such a recent phenomenon as blogging, ‘traditional’). Vocal expression is different from verbal and visual expressions. Its requirements are different, its appeal is different and hence it should interest a different set of users. Obviously there will be overlaps but I think the audience should be considered different, at least for their usage behaviour if not for their actual numbers.

I’m thinking of this the way I think of radio, television and entertainment/news on the internet. Even if the same person uses all three media, he/she uses them differently, during different times of the day, in different situations and enjoys them all differently. Television didn’t really kill the radio as the song goes and I don’t think the internet has killed TV as the doomsday pundits predicted a decade ago.

I don’t know yet how I’d take to vogging but a short five years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d take to micro-blogging. Twitter hasn’t cut into my blogging activities, but rather supplemented it. Then again, they’re both verbal media. Vogging being audio, I can’t yet tell. Personally I’m more comfortable behind the written word than the spoken word, even for an on-the-go tool like Twitter. Then again, it could be a handy tool for live coverage, a sort of voice recording for notes on the go.

I’d like to wait and see how convenient the infrastructural end of this pans out as well. It’s really easy for me to login to Twitter and Facebook from my basic (non-scary) phone and it’s fairly affordable too. In addition, services like Twitpic and Flickr allow for image blogging on-the-go really easily too. If voice blogging turns out to be that easy, well, you just might be hearing from me and hearing me pretty soon!

Note: For those who know me personally, yes, the second name is wrong and no, I did not marry an Anand!!

The Language Of The Geeks

An old post retreived from the long-dead Office Capers. It’s still funny, I think.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~

Today I put my techno-greek foot back in my mouth (again! again! again!)

Someone from the next cubicle (SNC): Do you know the iRiver?

Me: The what river?

SNC: Okay, you don’t know it.

Me: I didn’t hear you…what river?

SNC: The iRiver

Me: I don’t know it. What’s that?

SNC: Its like the iPod, an MP3 player

Someone from the other side (SFOS): Who are the makers?

Me: Apple obviously (going by the preceding ‘i’)

SNC: No, it isn’t. Its a me-too.

Me: Hmm…I wonder how come no one has come up with ‘iPea’ as yet.

*Loud laughter while I realise what I’ve said*

Me: What the hell…okay, maybe ‘iPeas’.

*Louder laughter*

Me: Oh shut up! You know what I meant!

SNC: What…HARHARHAR….is wrong with you? KHEE KHEE KHEE…..there would be a problem if you didn’t!!!

Me: *Sulk sulk sulk*

SFOS: *in a serious undertone* That was a foe-grandpa

Me: Huh?

SFOS: A faux-grand-pas….the grandfather of a faux pas!

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